HOUSTON - As Astros fans cheer on the team's quest for the World Series, memories from the team's early days tell a tale of humble beginnings, in what marked Major League Baseball's first expansion.
Before they were called the Astros, the Houston Colt 45s marked the Space City's first foray into the national league. From 1962 to 1964, the Colts, as they were also known, played at Colt Stadium, a temporary space, south of what became the Astrodome.
Houston Astros legend Larry Dierker played at Colt Stadium, first as a pitcher for the Houston Colt 45s.
"I was 17 years old when I got there, fresh out of Rookie League," Dierker said.
Dierker pitched one game at Colt Stadium, on Sept. 22, 1964 -- his 18th birthday.
"I didn't think I was going to get to pitch, but my birthday came up on the 22nd, and so I guess they had an idea to promote it. So, I got to pitch," Dierker said.
These days, one can find Colts memorabilia here and there. Todd Nelkin, a collector of items from baseball's past, gave KPRC2 a look at his collection.
"25,271 see Houston wallop the Mets in National League debut," Nelkin read from a newspaper from The Colt 45s first game against another expansion team, the New York Mets.
"There's Colt Stadium. Look, it was built shadeless," he said, turning through the pages of an old program.
Shadeless, hot, and a mosquito trap made Colt fans diehards and players ready for anything.
"Colt Stadium didn't even have a canopy over it. I'm not sure how they designed an open air stadium in Houston without some sort of shade," said Mike Acosta, manager, authentication, Houston Astros.
After two years, construction of the Astrodome was completed and the Colt 45s became the Astros.
Dierker had very few memories from the old stadium. Still, he remembers what most do about it, as he cheers the current team on to success.
"It was so hot and humid here. And I remember that."
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